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Charlottetown Rugby Football Club going to nationals


Island women's team receives berth in Canadian championship in its third year of existence

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

It wasn't the way Charlottetown Rugby Football Club (CRFC) members expected to get invited to the nationals, but they will take it.

The women’s squad was preparing for a trip to Perth-Andover, N.B., on Saturday to play Club de Rugby de Quebec (CRQ) with the winner earning a berth in the Aug. 2-4 nationals in Markham, Ont.

But CRFC officials received word early Friday morning that two teams involved in a qualifier in Western Canada forfeited and national organizers granted both Quebec and CRFC entry into the four-team nationals.

“It would have been a whole lot more fun if we earned it the right way,” Charlottetown head coach James Voye said early Friday afternoon.

“We’re still going to get to go to nationals, we just didn't have to win a qualifier to get there.”

Tara Campbell passes the ball to a teammate Tuesday at Charlottetown Rural High School.
Tara Campbell passes the ball to a teammate Tuesday at Charlottetown Rural High School.

The team will use Saturday to practice while a couple of the girls will fill out the division 2 team’s roster for a league game in Windsor, N.S.

What is remarkable is that the club is in its third season.

It won the Nova Scotia division 1 league title while going undefeated in 2017 and 2018.

The squad defeated the Fredericton Loyalists from New Brunswick earlier this summer to become the Maritime champs and advance to the game with Quebec.

The club created a division 2 squad in 2018 and won the Nova Scotia league title.

“People, I think, kind of wrote us off whenever we first joined the Nova Scotia league,” Ellen Murphy said after a physical practice Tuesday at Charlottetown Rural High School.

“For two years later, to be in the running to be at a national championship for club rugby is pretty exciting.”

Alysha Corrigan said playing against competition outside the region is a great opportunity for the club.

“We have put a lot of work in over these two years and kind of built a great platform here, so it will be really good to see where we stand.”

The division 1 and 2 teams practice together. The players are very familiar to those who have watched high school rugby and the UPEI Panthers. They include the likes of Emily Keen, Tara Campbell and Rebecca Chapman. Many of the women have played together for years – forging a bond that doesn’t happen overnight.

“It makes a huge difference. They know each other,” Voye said. “Over the years, you learn to play for those girls a little bit more.”

It’s a balanced roster that provides the opportunity to adjust the game plan based on their opponents’ weaknesses.

Murphy left Prince Edward Island after high school and played for the St. FX X-Women and Ottawa Gee Gees university squads.

“It’s really exciting now to be able to come back home and play with these girls and represent Charlottetown and P.E.I. Rugby as a whole,” the 25-year-old Augustine Cove native said.

The Canadian Rugby Club Championships began in 2018 and alternates between men's and women's each year.

The four-team nationals will also consist of a team from Ontario and Western Canada. There will be a semifinal on Aug. 2 with the winners playing for gold and the losers battling for bronze.

Voye said the Island women are proud and have a bit of a chip on their shoulders.

“They want to show the rest of the country that they’re up to the standard,” he said.

Related links:

    • Charlottetown Rugby Football Club Facebook page.

    • Canadian Rugby Club Championship website.

    • Charlottetown Rugby Football Club repeats as Nova Scotia league champs.


Roster

A look at Charlottetown Rugby Football Club’s division 1 team that was supposed to play Saturday in New Brunswick.

Sarah Visser is a member of the Charlottetown Rugby Football Club.
Sarah Visser is a member of the Charlottetown Rugby Football Club.

Ellen Murphy

Frances MacWilliam

Sarah MacLeod

Sophie Carragher

Lauren Sheidow

Megan Larkin

Niki Triantafillou

Becca Marie

Emily Keen

Danielle Lacey

Maggie Grimmer

Anneke Dykerman

Alysha Corrigan

Maddy Shea

Tara Campbell

Alicia Rose

Stephanie Lynn

Nicole Davies

Kalie MacKinnon

Sophie Duguay

Allyson Ayles

Division 2

A look at the division 2 roster for Saturday’s game in Windsor, N.S.

Elizabeth McQuaid

Brittney White

Amy Andrews

Chloé Benoit

Sarah Visser

Emily McQuaid

Alyson Clow

Kristi Stewart

Bella Walsh

Madison Vos

Kathleen Sullivan

Jennifer Woods

Tessa Hood

Mia Fradsham

Tori Hogan

Kristina Vanneste

MaryJan Malone

Alyx Hodson

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